Sunday, June 16, 2013

Superman "Man of Steel"

The “Man of Steel” has been around for many, many extravagant, entertaining and extraordinary years certainly longer than you or I. He was originally conceived by teen agers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938. Within his unique history he has been envisioned in every possible medium since his comic book birth; radio, theatre, novels, games, toys, music, television and film. He is certainly the stuff of legend both as a character and as a production icon of society. Ask anyone if they remember being introduced to Superman and overwhelmingly people will answer that they can’t recall “The Man of Steel” as a new concept. We learn about Superman as we learn of language itself. With so much history and saturation into the American psyche and hearts it is next to impossible to change or revamp the temperament and tone of the character for our contemporary times. Batman his partner, foil and diametric opposite is much more flexible for rewrites and reworks. Spiderman, Dare Devil, Iron Man and even Hell Boy are crafted for our dystopian modern existence. Superman; the “Grand-Daddy” of them all is in most ways just that; the “Grand-Dadd
As Superman is known there are some definite things that he can do such as to leap a tall building in a single bound (it would take the rest of us at least three or four bounds.) He is faster than a speeding bullet (there are benefits to this ability; ask just about anyone.) He is more powerful than a locomotive (this refers to a train; something most Americans under the age of thirty probably have never heard of.)  Now; there are also some things that he cannot do. He cannot and has no right to doubt himself. When you can fly purely as a result of your own will power, bend steel in your bare hands, see through walls etc. you do not have any time or reason for petty insecurities. When using said powers you cannot do anything wrong. This means any selfish thing or anything that hurts anyone else (even the bad guy or gal.) You’re the opposite of the baddie and that‘s what makes you the hero; not your powers.   


“Man of Steel” opened this weekend in theatres across the country and world-wide. The reviews are mixed; the consensus at this point is “Man of Steel” is at best a descent effort but nothing special. This is the fourth big screen incarnation for Superman. Christopher Reeves set an impossibly high bar for anyone to reach in the Donner films. They will never be surpassed. Reeves personified Superman on screen and he proved to have an amazing amount of courage and resilience in real life. Reeves was an inspiration. This new film comes to us over blown, dark and repetitive. These days the source materials for the super hero “Block-Busters” are known as Graphic Novels. Originally the book’s genre was classified and considered Comic or Funny Books. There has to be a sense of humor; a joyfulness in the equation for anything relating to a comic book creation like Superman, again he is the original. Superman doesn’t need to imitate the kids. He only needs to be himself.      

                                                 All Images of Superman by the Stellar Alex Ross

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